Yesterday was Canada Day, our celebration of nationhood since 1867.
Wish I could have been up on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to see the fireworks, but whether increased security would have diminished the fun factor is problematic.
Two days ago at the Allerheiligen Museum in Schaffhausen I came across a German-language magazine, Transhelvetica: Schweizer Magazin für Reisekultur.
This month’s theme: Canada (and bears).
In Merenschwand, Canton Aargau, Max Wohlwend runs a Canada Shop and Canada Travel Bureau, 5,000 km distance from Canada itself.
In the shop, one can buy Inniskillin Ice Wine, maple syrup, beef jerky, Mountain Dew, Newfoundland screech, ice-wine tea, Camadian beef, Tomahawk steaks and Sleeman beer.
(I believe there still is a Canada Shop in Basel.)
At Oeschinensee (Oeschinen Lake), also in Aargau, is very Canadian-type scenery one might expect to find in the Canadian Rockies.
Every June in Flumserberg is the Swiss Lumberjack Competition.
One can buy Inuit art at the Cerny Inuit Collection in Bern, ride a Canadian canoe or kayak on the Rhine River at Versam, or read Nicholas Vanier’s latest book about living for a year in the Canadian wilderness.
One can enjoy Canadian beer at the Fuckeneh in Eiken, Aargau, or at the Canadian in Uznach, St. Gallen.
There are some Canadians resident in St. Gallen and other major Swiss cities.
Even in my wee hamlet of Landschlacht, though I am the only fulltime Canadian resident there, Canadians do stay in our local B & Bs, a local doctor hires Canadian au pairs regularly every year and my landlady has family living in Canada.
There is accessible Canadiana here in Switzerland should I so choose to embrace it.
But reading Canadian news on the Internet or Facebook posts and I can clearly see the problems I left behind in my home and native land still persist.
The US controversy over the Confederate flag has carried over and been adapted to Canada´s flags and what side of the political fence you are on depends on whether you choose to fly the Maple Leaf of Canada or the Fleur de Lys of Quebec.
Language divides Canada as it does in Switzerland, but sadly only 10% of Canadians can speak more than only one language.
Our politicians are lacklustre compared to the US, which is both a blessing and a curse, depending on the circumstances.
Our music scene still rocks the planet while our comedy still manages to get people rolling with laughter in the aisles.
Our economy is stable-ish.
Our literature is evocatic.
Our art is provocative.
Our attitude is proactive.
I miss Canada very much at the moment.
Life goes on, eh?